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Comparison between "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula" using media terminology.

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Introduction

Media Coursework - Comparison between "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula" using media terminology. In this essay, I shall be analysing the opening 15 minutes of two films using media terminology. The two films I shall be looking at are of the same basic genre (horror): "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave" - (1968, directed by Freddie Francis, a 'Hammer House of Horror' film) and "Bram Stoker's Dracula" - (1992, directed by Frances Ford Coppola). Because these films were screened at different times and their directors were different as individuals, it should make an interesting contrast of sources, ideas and effects between the two. They both portray certain fictitious events involving the creature created by Bram Stoker - Dracula, who is, as most will know, of the mythical vampire species. I will be studying the film techniques, shots, lighting etc of the two films and analysing them carefully using media "jargon". The stories of these two films are very different, though they are both based on the same creature. In "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave", the story is as follows: A young boy who works for the church as an errand boy discovers a dead woman in the belfry of the church that he works in. The audience is led to believe that Dracula had killed her and drained her of blood. ...read more.

Middle

The film's special effects are certainly far more advanced than the other film I reviewed! For example, the blood is far thinner and darker than the liquid used in the sixties (classically referred to as "Ketchup"!). The amazing wonders of computer animation also add a certain unreal feeling to it. For example the eyes in the train carriage window and the picture of Elisabeta falling to her death, as portrayed in her suicide note. The introduction in the film is extremely well set, as there is lots of symbolism: for example, the Crescent moon on the top of the Mosque seen at the start of the film shows that Islam is completely dominant. A lot of thinking went into the making of this film and this is obvious when watched. In "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave", The costumes are relatively simple and straightforward. They all show that the film was probably set in about the 16th century. This is made obvious by the fact that no one wore any man-made fibres at all (e.g. nylon), there was no sense of fashion or "in" clothes, they were just cotton or wool garments that were done up with lace. This sense of dress with no fancy decorations or stitching of any kind shows us that they were poor peasants who did not spend money on clothes, but made their own ones instead. ...read more.

Conclusion

It has ambient sounds of the birdsong and the sound of the bicycle's chain whirring, the clucking of the chickens and also the crack of thunder and the howling of the wind to give a realistic feel. It has the non-diegetic sound of a full orchestra complete with a heavy cello bass line, to give the general feeling of dread. It also has the Dialogue of the High Priest telling the audience of his story, to set the scene. "Bram Stoker's Dracula" also has the same basic array of sounds. It has ambient sounds of the train, the pack of wolves, flames and the clashing of swords in the battle scene. This is to make the audience feel as though they are right in the middle of the action. If this was played through a "surround sound" system it would sound dramatically real. It has the same dischordent orchestra with a heavy bass line and booming timpani (kettle drums) to give off a feeling of tension and climax. It also has the Dialogue from the Narrator in the Introduction telling the story of all that had led to this point, which sets the scene wonderfully well. To bring my analysis to a close I would like to say that both of these films were excellently made. But one of them does, for me, have the edge. "Bram Stoker's Dracula", I thought was quite simply astonishing. The collection of different styles and cultures into the excellent finished production. For the first 15 minutes, I think that's very good! ...read more.

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